Trekking Part 1: Learn How to Plan and Be Safe on Pioneer Treks This Summer

Contributed By Carolyn Call, LDS.org staff writer

  • 9 May 2016

Have a safe and spiritually rewarding trek experience by following the safety guidelines the Church has established.

Article Highlights

  • Inform youth and leaders about trek safety guidelines prior to the actual activity.
  • Watch "Tracy's Trek" during pre-trek activities for a fun take on how to stay safe.
  • Visit safety.lds.org for more information on staying safe during trek.

“[We want everyone to] pause for a safety moment. Pause and think about safety hazards before you go do something.” —Steven Brimley, product manager, Risk Management Division

Many youth are looking forward to warm-weather fun and inspiration through summer activities such as pioneer handcart treks.

To preserve the good memories and spiritual moments this summer, it is important for leaders and youth to focus on staying safe while preparing for and participating in trek.

One resource to use during trek preparation is “Tracy’s Trek.” Join Tracy as she observes safety practices before and during a handcart trek. The lighthearted three-part video series is a great resource for pre-trek activities and meetings.

“Getting Ready,” the first installment of “Tracy’s Trek” introduces viewers to what trek is and why it’s important to prepare for trek well before the actual event begins.

“We’ve been thinking about this all wrong. We’re on trek right now!” says Tracy as she realizes that physical and spiritual preparation is essential to enjoying the complete trek experience.

In “On the Trail” and “Trials of the Trail,” the second and third videos of the series, we follow Tracy as she discovers the importance of being safe on the trail and around handcarts, being prepared for lightning storms, and staying hydrated, among other safety topics.

Leaders can decide the best way to present “Tracy’s Trek” to youth. One suggestion is to pause the videos after featured safety segments to discuss the rules in greater detail with the youth, making sure to answer their questions and concerns.

Watch “Tracy's Trek” on safety.lds.org to learn about the importance of following safety rules during trek.

“[We want everyone to] pause for a safety moment,” said Steven Brimley, a product manager in the Church’s Risk Management Division. “Pause and think about safety hazards before you go do something. Don’t do something without thinking about it first.”

In addition to “Tracy’s Trek,” safety.lds.org  provides links to other sources and websites that address safety rules and effective trek planning and coordination, such as “Handcart Trek Reenactments: Guidelines for Leaders,” which contains safety and planning guidelines for leaders, safety fact sheets, and other videos.

“If done safely, trek reenactments can help today’s youth learn to persevere, turn to God in their times of trial, and gain a testimony that He will help bear their burdens,” says the trek safety page on safety.lds.org. “However, youth do not need to suffer through these same trials to gain an appreciation for the sacrifices of the handcart pioneers.”

As youth and leaders follow the safety rules, they will be blessed with greater protection and be more receptive to spiritual inspiration while on trek. They will also be in a better position to help others have a safe and rewarding trek experience.

In part 2 of this series, learn more about how you can find historically accurate, faith-promoting pioneer stories for trek.